I watched a movie tonight. It was a movie about love; I thought about how the love of a Christian (romantic love) for another, should be different. Should a Christian really get intoxicated with the love of another? Or should God be enough? I began to personalize that thought (as I often do), and I wonder to myself, is it really God’s will for me to have a boyfriend. I adore my sweetheart! He becomes more and more woven into my heart strings everyday, yet, I wonder, do I love God enough? Would I love God more if I did not have a boyfriend. My poor darling, usually the outcome of this worry results in a letter/email or something that reflects my thoughts and comes to the conclusion that I cannot be holy if I have a boyfriend. So I choose to inflict separation on us both, in pursuit of loving God more.
God sends His Holy Spirit in order to convict us, and for me, that conviction often comes in the form of my emotional being. If I am not right with God, then I have a heaviness within me, a lack of joy, and often a type of depression and loneliness. Yet, I know this is usually a result of God’s conviction and work in my life! As I wrote out my thoughts and poured out to God, I told Him that I would stop choosing my wounds. I would stop picking the places where He could work. Instead, I will let Him choose my wounds.
Perhaps this is a somewhat crass example, but I could not help but think of cows, especially the cows and livestock which were a part of the cattle drives in the 1800s (thanks CollegePlus! for the reminder of U.S. History). Those cattle were branded so that the rancher could show ownership of them and prove ownership of them. I cannot imagine the branding process. My facts may be wrong, but I believe that they used to heat up the iron which had the brand on it, and then put it straight onto the particular cow (or whatever was being branded). That must have hurt like crazy. Yet, I want the Holy Spirit to have free rein to brand my heart! I want my heart to show the ownership of God.
My heart hurts, for I know that one place I fail to show that ownership is at Taco Bell. If I could write a letter to my co-workers, to tell them what a Christian is, then I could not use my life as an example. I am ashamed of that. So many things pop up in my mind of why I am not a Christian at work when I think about it. Perhaps, I should try a first draft.
Dear Taco Bell employees,
I hope, that someday, when you stand before God, that you have seen a good example of a Christian in your lifetime. I hope that I am not the best that you ever see.
I have been working there for a year now, and I think I’ve done the worst job that I could do to show you how different my life should be. You know the way I talk about and to Denay? I should not. Although I disagree with some of the ways she does things, I should still show her love. How often I have expressed extreme disgust or dislike of the things she does or even of herself. How easy it is just to see the bad, and how wrong I am for not looking for the good. Denay is good at paperwork, Debbie herself will tell you that. Denay is also a pretty generous person, and if you get past her rough exterior then you will see that she does really care about people.
Then there is the things that I talk about with Raylene. Never once have I talked to her about how satisfying my God is, yet I laugh and exchange jokes about sex. Don’t get me wrong. Sex is GREAT! (I do NOT know from personal experience!!!), but sex is only great because God is even GREATER and sex is HIS gift. I know that I do not treat sex as a gift from Him when I talk about it the way I do. A real Christian, they would know what to say.
Finally, there is my attitude. I don’t know how obvious it is at times, but I like to think that I am all that, don’t I? I am sorry. See, I am no different from anyone else. Actually, I am worse. Because I am a sinner, someone who was going to Hell, and Jesus came and rescued me, and how have I acted? Ungrateful, even spiteful at times.
That is why I am sorry. That is why I hope you meet a better Christian than me. Jesus is indeed worth so MUCH more than I act like. For all those of you who will never read this, dare I pray that I will live this? I asked God today just to move me away from everything, so that I could love Him more. I stopped, and realized how foolish I was, for I was essentially asking Him to make it easy for me to love Him. But how would anyone else ever know that I love Him, if I do not love Him, here, in the “now”?